Monday, June 23, 2008

Ireland and London Social Diary

Castletown House, the scene of the Irish Georgian Society's 50th anniversary gala dinner.
This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Irish Georgian Society. To celebrate this milestone, an anniversary gala dinner was held at Castletown House, County Kildare the Saturday before last. This was followed by a celebratory summer party at Leixlip Castle the following Sunday. This milestone commenorates fifty years of hard work for the Irish Georgian Society.

The first anniversary gala dinner took place at Castletown House, where many distinguished supporters of the Irish Georgian Society gathered. 120 guests were greeted with a champagne reception in the stunning entrance hall of the house, where items of Irish art furniture and silverware from the 18th century to the present day were displayed for auction. Following this, a sumptuous Georgian banquet was served as traditional Irish musicians entertained guests. A montage of wonderful archive material and interviews from the Georgian society was also played for guests on the evening.
U2 band member Edge and Paula Fogarty (Cleveland)
Olda FitzGerald and Martin Naughton (Ireland)
Those who attended included Hon. Desmond Guinness, founder of the Irish Georgian Society; Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin and president of the Irish Georgian Society; U2 band member the Edge and manager Paul McGuinness; US based Irish Georgian Society members Sheila and Joe O’Malley Fuchs (New York), Loretta Gluckmans (New York), Heather Cohane (New York), Carlton Varney (New York and Ireland), Paula Fogarty (Cleveland), Kenneth Jay Lane (New York), Niall Smith (New York), Milorad Miskovitch (Dallas). The dinner was also attended by government officials and prominent artists and art collectors.
Dr Stephen Seager (Washington), Desmond FizGerald, Knight of Glin, President Irish Georgian Society, and Dora Seager (Washington)
Milorad Miskovitch (Dallas), and Alan K. Shard (Dallas)
Sheila and Joe O’Malley Fuchs (New York)
Loretta Gluckmans (New York)
Heather Cohane and Carlton Varney (New York & Ireland)
John Holohan (Irish Georgian Society, Ireland)
Jasmine Guinness, model and granddaughter of Desmond Guinness
Jerry Healy (IGS board member) and Carmel Naughton (Ireland)
Kenneth Lane (New York) and Niall Smith (New York)
The following day, Sunday 15th June, the 50th anniversary picnic party took place at Leixlip Castle. There was live music in the garden, relaxing music from a DJ in the bar and a unique Georgian themed garden picnic which was set up to commemorate the IGS picnics of the past.

Desmond Guinness with a specially commissioned bust to commemorate the IGS’s 50th anniversary.
Fifteen stunning Rolls Royce from the 1920s and 1930s from the London based 20 Ghost Club were parked in front of the castle for guests to admire. At the end of the afternoon, the Hon. Desmond Guinness was presented with a beautiful bronze bust sculpture by Irish artist Tom Haran, to commemorate his fifty years involvement with the Irish Georgian Society.

The aims of the Irish Georgian Society are to encourage an interest in and to promote the protection of Ireland’s architectural heritage and the allied arts. The Society has 2,900 members in Ireland, the US and the UK and pursues its aims through its education and conservation advice programs and through its conservation grants and planning advocacy. For further information visit

Leixlip Castle: Leixlip, is a medieval castle on a rock above where the Rye Water flows into the River Liffey in County Kildare. The castle was partly rebuilt in the 18th century by William Conolly, nephew and heir of Speaker Conolly from nearby Castletown House and remained in the Conolly family until 1914.

William Conoly’s interior survives largely intact with a particularly fine staircase and simple plasterwork in the library. The castle had a series of owners and tenants in the 20th century until it was purchased and restored by Desmond Guinness in 1958. Leixlip Castle remains the home of his Desmond and his wife Penny.
Cutting the cake
Kenneth Lane (New York) and Sebastian Guinness (Ireland)
Olda FitzGerald and Patrick Guinness (son of Desmond Guinness)
Oscar Bales
Knight of Glin and Garrett FitzGerlad (former Taoiseach of Ireland)
Dr. Rosemary O’Connor-Quinn (Ireland)
Marina Guinness (Desmond Guinness’ daughter) and Valerie Packenham of Tullynally Castle (Ireland)
Last Tuesday night in London, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia unveiled his collection of magnificent jewelry at an exhibition at Partridge Fine Arts, hosted by Princess Michael of Kent and Mark Law, Chairman of Partridge.

The 46 pieces on display included The Emerald Tree brooch with a total of 80 carats and valued at more than $2.5 million, and a multi-colored necklace with a 42 carat Siberian amethyst from the collection of Prince Dimitri’s grandmother, a present from Czar Nicholas II of Russia. There was a two-stone emerald ring of daring simplicity with Colombian emeralds totaling 45351 carats.
There was a big turnout for the glittering opening including Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky, Pia Getty, Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, Raine, Countess Spencer, Georgina Brandolini, Todd Morley, Princess Maria Pia di Savoia and Prince Michel de Bourbon Parme, Wendell Giard, George Sayn, and Tobias Clark.

The Prince Dimitri Collection is available by appointment at his private salon at 5 East 57th Street in New York (telephone 646-747-2526).
Lady Judge and Prince Dimitri
George Sayn and friend
Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and Nicholas Haslam
Boris Berezovky
George and Inez Lengvari with Joseph Padulo
Virginia Coleman and Sir Tobias Clarke
Todd Morley and Joaquin Fernandez de Cordova
Suzy Menkes
Todd Morley and Marianne Krex
Prince Dimitri, Georgina Brandolini, and Corentin Quideau
Jane Churchill, Prince Dimitri, and Uri Geller
Lady Woolton with Ella and Bernard Dreesman
Princess Micheal of Kent and Pia Getty
Trying on the jewels
Marchese Ferrero
Nigel Pemberton, Todd Morley, and Melodie Pemberton
Prince Michael, Caroline St. George, and Prince Dimitri
Jane Churchill and Prince Dimitri

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